And, the reverse–which actors have been particularly badly cast in roles of characters you first met in the pages of a book? Do you blame the actors or the writers and other film-people for the failure? Who would you have cast instead?
“Nightmare” is such a strong word, isn’t it? I’d reserve it for something as egregious as whitewashing or anything else flat-out offensive. I’ve seen plenty of actors that I, were I a casting director, perhaps might not have cast as certain characters, but I’ve so rarely seen anyone completely fail at playing a character that I can’t even think of an example. Acting is a job like any other; at the end of the day, every actor wants to do good work for good money. If the character is poorly written, that’s the screenwriters’ fault, not theirs.
This question reminds me a little of the film adaptation of Interview with a Vampire. Anne Rice was livid that Tom Cruise was cast as Lestat. She just couldn’t see any way that Maverick could do her character justice. Then she saw the film. Afterwards, she wrote Cruise a letter of apology. Cruise is, perhaps, not everybody’s vision of Lestat, but the stamp that he does put on the character, emphasizing his weaknesses in a way that makes him entertaining as both a character and an antagonist, is an enjoyable one.
The point is, there’s always plenty of room for different interpretations of literary characters, with, of course, some reasonable exceptions (no, the cast of Anansi Boys can’t be white!). After all, they’re safe and sound in their books.
So mermaids are apparently the supernatural creature du jour in the world of young adult fiction, according to io9. Posts like this always make me raise my eyebrows a bit; over the past few years, I’ve been hearing that angels and, perhaps more alarmingly, zombies are the new hotness, but from where I’m standing, such new trends really haven’t made a dent in pop culture. Twilight, at least until the last film comes out, still reigns supreme (have y’all seen Lee Pace’s hostage face on his character poster? It’s something to behold), True Blood still holds thrall, and The Vampire Diaries is quite popular. Of course, there’s always been something sexual about vampires, especially since Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire, but the recent rise of the vampire in pop culture has forgotten something crucial to the vampire mythology: eternal damnation. Or so I thought until recently.
Do you like to talk about what you read? Do you have somebody to talk WITH?
…yes. Hence the blog.
Okay, all flippancy aside, yes, I do. I have a pretty awful memory, and I started this book blog to keep track of what I read and how I felt about it, partially because I don’t really have anyone in real life to consistently talk books with. Oh, I’ll occasionally catch someone reading what I’m reading—my academic advisor is reading The Flight of Gemma Hardy, which I finished the other day—but for the most part, not so much. I belonged to a book club in high school, which I enjoyed (I think there’s one or two reviews from the very end of high school on here, like The Interview with the Vampire), but my reading is half pleasure-reading and half-research at any given moment, so it’s impossible for someone to be reading everything I read.
But with a blog, people who have read what I’ve read or have any passing interest in what I’ve read can comment on its review and get a discussion going—even people I know in real life. The answer to this question isn’t yes or no; it’s book blogging. Even if you have someone to talk every one of your reads over in real life, it’s nice to get other perspectives.
A pair of historical fiction novels from before the turn of the millennium are on the menu this morning on the Literary Horizon, taking us from New Orleans to Roman-occupied Britain.
Interview with the Vampire
by Anne Rice
I read this for my school’s book club this month, but I’ve read it before, when I was a wee, nutty lass who would read anything if there were remotely queer boys in it–so, of course, I missed the entire point of the novel. Yeesh.
While it’s not Rice’s most exciting work (Louis is too ponderous a narrator for that), it is one of her purest books in the series–Louis’ struggles with his vampiric nature are philosophical and spiritual, an increasingly isolated figure against the richly imagined world of Rice’s horrifying vampires.